Monday, December 22, 2008

Restaurant Preview: Flip

I've been DYING to try Flip ever since I first heard about it. I'm on an eternal quest for a great burger, and I was a big fan of Richard Blais on Top Chef, so how could this not be great? After a false start a couple weeks ago, it's finally open, and I tried it the other night with some girlfriends. It's so newly opened that this is a preview and not a full review, but it was bustling and running smoothly so I can only expect great things from Flip once they really get going!

Thank goodness, Blais did not disappoint. Flip is on a rather dreary stretch of Howell Mill, but the inside is loud and trendy, with a giant mural on the wall around the open kitchen and mod lighting keeping the look upscale and cool.
The menu is divided into burgers, sides and shakes. We tried the corned beef, pate melt and pork belly burgers for entrees. They are small, not quite slider size but definitely not the gargantuan burger you're used to. I found that a burger, a side, and sharing a shake was plenty of food, but a guy could probably eat at least two burgers. The pate melt was my choice, and great googly moogly, it was awesome. It's an unusual combination of veal and pork patty, swiss cheese, cornichons, lingonberry and dijon. This burger is so flavorful, with a perfect balance of savory rich meat and sweet berries and mustard.
The other two burgers were both good but not nearly as delicious. I preferred the pork belly to the corned beef, but with the pate melt one being so good, I can't imagine going back for more of those. Next time I'd like to try the steak tartar or bun mi burgers.
The side dishes were all top notch. The vodka battered onion rings were so crispy and salty and far more compelling than they usual. I've heard others have complained about the onion rings, which I can't fathom, because I loved the batter. The sweet potato tots were a clever take on the southern fave. They fall apart a bit too much, but they were so sweet and yummy. The fries were good, but with so many more interesting things to try, they wouldn't be my top choice.

I'd heard so much about the famous Blais fois gras milkshake, so I was disappointed not to see it on the menu. We opted to share the krispy kreme shake. Delish - very creamy but not too thick to drink, and a great authentic krispy kreme donut taste.
The burgers are fairly cheap, generally $7-9, but the sides and shakes are on the pricey side ($4 for onion rings, $7 for a shake), so it adds up. That said, it's all very sharable so you can keep prices low if you want.

Richard Blais was visibly working in the kitchen, which was fun to see even if he has toned down his faux hawk. It's so rare for Atlanta to have a recognizable chef, so I was glad he was working in the kitchen and not just working the room.

I loved Flip (although the music could stand to be a little less loud!), and I can't wait to go back and try more from its intriguing menu. That plan doesn't work so well with my planned post-new year's health kick, but how can I resist?

1587 Howell Mill Road
Atlanta, GA, 30318

FLIP Burger Boutique on Urbanspoon



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